Bored, Boring, or Playful?
I thoroughly enjoyed Robert Dykstra’s article “To Be Boring or to Be Bored: That Is the Question” [winter 2001]. I read it and reread it, clipped it, sent it to my friends. Dykstra encouraged me in my efforts to “play” with the text and to become vulnerable to it. I look forward to reading his book.
Larry B. Bell
Genoa, New York
Case of the Missing Baptismal Font
Thank you for your article, “All Things Bright and
Beautiful,” about the renovation of Miller Chapel [winter 2001]. While everything you wrote was well done and interesting to me (as I believe my wife and I chipped in the grand amount of about $25!), it was what you didn’t write that leads me to this further inquiry.
While the commentary on the pulpit, table, and new tracker organ was well done, I missed any mention of the baptismal font. If we are to focus on Word and Sacrament, given our Reformed theology, the baptismal font surely should have been part of the renovation project. Would you be so kind to inform me and, if you feel it worthy, the rest of your readers about the baptismal font? Is there one, and if so, where is it located?
Again, thank you for your continuing excellent work on inSpire.
Scott Herr (’87B)
Fort Collins, Colorado
We asked James Kay, PTS professor of homiletics and liturgics and chair of the renovation committee, to respond to Mr. Herr’s letter.
The committee discussed, at more than one meeting, the appropriateness of a permanent baptismal font for Miller Chapel. The argument was made that there would be both catechetical and pedagogical value in having the symbol of Christian initiation visibly present in the chapel. It would reinforce within the Seminary the importance and ecumenical significance of baptism, and it would provide a place where students could be trained in how to administer the sacrament. On the other hand, Miller Chapel is not a parish church under the governance of a session, which, in Presbyterian law, is the court that admits persons to baptism and, thereby, to church membership. There was also a concern that the placement of a font in Miller Chapel would encourage the practice of private baptism at variance with Presbyterian doctrine. For this reason, no permanent font was installed in keeping with the theological heritage of the Seminary.
I enjoyed your article on Nancy
Schongalla-Bowman [winter 2001]. Did you know that I was the roommate who also kept my clothes in the kitchen cupboards? I have enjoyed swapping Tennent stories with one of my dearest friends in our church who also lived there—almost forty years before me. Bertha Murphy, one of our saints, was married to a student at Princeton in the early 1940s. She comes to pray with us every Sunday before we preach [in West Hills Presbyterian Church, Omaha, Nebraska]. I have passed on a number of issues of
inSpire to her, and she has enjoyed them.
Deena Candler (’81B)
Striving for Peace
I am pleased to send you my greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I would like to thank you very much for sending me the winter 2001 issue of
inSpire, which I enjoyed reading very much. It was also very kind and considerate of you to include in the magazine my statement at the United Nations last September.
In this troubled world of ours, it is very often exceedingly difficult to fashion peace from among conflicting interests and desires. However, by subduing our hearts and minds to God, who is himself the fount of peace, we have to continuously seek his guidance and strive for peace.
Abuna Paulos (’70M, ’88D)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Prayers from India
Greetings to you in the most precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Our pastor gave me a copy of inSpire, and I enjoyed reading the magazine. It is very informative, inspiring, and beneficial for my spiritual growth. Your magazine is so spiritually uplifting and full of guidance that one wants to read it all before putting it down. I am so grateful for your ministry. I earnestly pray to our Lord that
inSpire grows so that it might change lives and become a blessing to this broken world.
We have a prayer group at Newasa named “Maranatha Prayer Group.” There are many young members in our group. We are preaching and teaching the message of Jesus Christ to the people. Three of our members have completed theological education and are now serving the Lord in Mumbai City. This year, one of our members is studying in a Bible college. Please pray for our group and for me. We are continuously praying for you and your ministry. God bless you.
Divakar B. Chakranarayan
Maharashtra State, India
Having recently given a gift to the Miller Chapel Restoration Fund in memory of my parents, the Reverend Thomas Bancroft and Grace Reifsnyder, the [winter 2001] issue of
inSpire has inspired me. What a fascinating and interesting issue. We appreciated the photos as well as the history and other information.
I remember back in 1937 while traveling from Mexico City to our furlough in Closter, New Jersey, our whole family (children ages 11 to 2!) stayed with the Mackays for a couple of days! We didn’t realize how important the event was—just friends, you know! And there have been many more occasions for relationships. John Sinclair’s book is a treasure in our home.
Truman and Mary Dodd Hunter
Thanks, and a Correction
Thank you for the most recent [winter 2001] issue of
inSpire. It is a lovely issue with many fine articles and a very nice piece
about Robert Speer and my book
Robert E. Speer: Prophet of the American Church. You did a good job describing my interest in
Speer and the book. I have no complaint, but one notice, which came from a friend whose father graduated from PTS in the 1930s and was a good friend of Dr. Mackay’s.
In the article, you wrote that Speer heard Mackay lecture in Edinburgh. In fact, it was Mackay who heard Speer lecture there. It is a rather minor thing, but I thought I would note it since someone called me about it.
I owe a serious debt of gratitude to you and others on the PTS staff for helping to move this book forward and to share it with other potential readers.
Thank you again.
John F. Piper
A Healing Connection
The article titled “Hills of Home”
[End Things] in your winter 2001 issue of inSpire was very moving.
In this essay written by David Burr, Princeton Class of 1950, for a writing course for seniors in North Carolina, he wrote about a special place in his life. He described how he was led to Princeton Seminary after returning home from the war in 1945, only to find that his mother had died, his father had remarried, and some of his friends had been lost to the tragedy of the war.
His description of Princeton as a quiet and calm place that brought peace and rest to him at this low point in his life also gave me a sense of peace and serenity. As I read the article, I realized that I also was experiencing a difficult time in my life, as my granddaughter Olivia had just been hospitalized for pneumonia. It was while I was praying for her recovery, that I came across this article. I was reminded that God will take care of us and our loved ones, if we just learn to put our trust in him. As for my granddaughter, I am thankful to say she is fully recovered.
May God bless your work in this inspirational magazine.
Middle Village, New York
Kudos Bright and Beautiful
You are really to be commended for the excellence of your magazine. Each issue continues to be even better in format and content. There is a fine mix of crafted subjects. “All Things Bright and
Beautiful” in the most recent issue [winter 2001] was superbly written and very informative and makes me eager to come to the Seminary to see the chapel. Thank you for your fine work.
Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania